Alzheimer’s Disease
Dr. Murtaza (dictator ibby)
Dr. Smith
Dr. Probus
Dr. Blandford
A 78-year-old man comes to your office with his daughter. The daughter
reports that her father, Mark, has been confusing the name of relatives
and is having trouble controlling his emotions. Her father was once a
respected mathematician, but he is now having trouble completing
simple calculations. He even claims that he does not know how to play
the card game they have been playing since she was a little girl. She
tried to get him to shower and put on clean clothes for the doctor’s
visit, but he is adamant about the fact that he is clean. Most recently,
he has had trouble recognizing people he has known for years. For quite
some time, he has had trouble finding items such as his glasses or keys
and his daughter attributed this to the natural aging process. Now she is
not so sure.
We diagnosed our patient as having Alzheimer’s
because of:
• His old age
• He was confused with the names of his relatives
• He was unable to control emotions, and had mood
• He was irritated with his daily activities
• He experienced memory loss with his work,
routines, and activities he used to perform.
Alzheimers is defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical
Manuel of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) as: “The
development of multiple cognitive deficits manifested
by both memory impairment…and one (or more) of the
following cognitive disturbances:
(a) Aphasia-Language Disturbance
(b) Apraxia-(impaired ability to carry out motor
activities despide intact motor function)
(c) Agnosia-(failure to recognize or identify objects
despide intact sensory function)
(d) Disturbence in executive functioning (i.e., planning,
organizing, sequencing, abstracting)
Alzheimer’s is classified as a neurodegenerative
disease, and the most common type of
dementia. The cause is not yet exactly know.
The progression of this disease is also not well
understood. Some hypotheses for causes of
Alzheimer’s are plaque buildups and and tangles
in the brain.
For Mark, the old man with Alzheimer’s, will live on for
roughly 8 more years or less, due to his age and because
the average amount of time someone will live after
finding symptoms of Alzheimer’s is 8 years.
Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease with no cure,
which means that Mark’s symptoms will get worse over
time even though he may receive treatment.
Mark could also die due to a complication like flu or
pneumonia, which is extremely deadly with Alzheimer’s.
Mark will eventually when his body systems fail to work
due to Alzheimer’s.
* There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, but there are
ways of treatment for those with Alzheimer’s.
* Our patient Mark, will be put taking inhibitors
like cholinesterase to improve memory loss.
Mark will also take medication to control his
sleep, emotions, and mood-swings like
memantine and donepezil.
* Taking medication will hopefully ensure Mark a
better life with Alzheimer’s rather than if he
didn’t take any medication.
* Alzheimer’s can best be described as a
deteriorating brain.
* The Neurons decay, and the brain is “eaten
away”, becoming tangled and dying.
* This causes a lapse in the communication
between neurons
* Which can, for say, cause a gap between
* Implicit v Explicit memory.
Two Medical Professions that work with
patients who have Alzheimer’s:
* Geriatric Psychiatrist
* Neurologist
* http://www.gmhfonline.org/gmhf/find.asp
* http://www.alz.org/stl/documents/Visiting_th
* A geriatric psychiatrist has
special training in the
diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders that may
occur in older adults, such as Alzheimer’s.
* A Geriatric Psychiatrist listens to the patients
concerns as well as their families. Then the Geriatric
Psychiatrist will propose some solutions. He/She will
work with other health professionals for the treatment
of the patient.
Neurologists are specialized in diagnosing and
treating disorders that affect the CNS, including the
brain and spinal cord. A doctor cannot just preform
one simple test to determine if a patient has
Alzheimer’s. There are multiple test to determine it.
A Neurologist will most likely work with a Geriatric
Psychologist to treat a patient.

Alzheimer*s - Cassie Blandford